The 14 Most Amazing Benefits of Sulforaphane
“Eat those greens!” It’s a saying that feels as old as time—or as old as our mothers and grandmothers, at the very least.
But as much as some of us may have hated vegetables when we were kids, our parents definitely weren’t just blowing hot air.
We’ve always known that especially dark leafy greens are healthy for some reason, and we’ve observed how eating them maintains health and makes people stronger.
Now we have science today to prove it. And in our healthiest and favorite leafy greens nowadays (like kale), it might just be due to phytochemicals called sulforaphanes.
WHAT IS SULFORAPHANE?
Sulforaphane is a completely natural and very healthy organic compound. It contains sulfur and occurs in a certain number of vegetables.
Namely, sulforaphane is only found in the Cruciferous or Brassica class of vegetables.
These include kale, radishes, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, rutabaga, mustard greens, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, and a few others. When the greens of these vegetables are crushed or chewed, it causes a chemical reaction that creates the sulforaphane.
The discovery of this phytochemical and its benefits has rapidly become a focus of fascinated research.
From what’s been discovered so far, it may be capable of quite a lot. Including:
SULFORAPHANE IS A POWERFUL ANTIOXIDANT
In the spirit of many other health-promoting herbs, botanicals, and phytochemicals, sulforaphane is above all else an antioxidant.
From this principal effect branches out many other potential health benefits for different organs, systems, and even chronic illnesses and conditions.
As an antioxidant, sulforaphane scavenges free radicals, which can then help slow and reduce degeneration, disease, and even the effects of aging. Studies continue to show that sulforaphane is in the top class of plant-based antioxidants.
What’s more, further studies suggest that such antioxidant capabilities can also help reduce blood pressure, and thereby improve heart health and forestall heart disease, too.
SULFORAPHANE HELPS REDUCE INFLAMMATION
As an antioxidant, sulforaphane is very much capable of so much more than just improving heart disease.
Because it scavenges free radicals, it can support any type of disease or illness related to or caused by inflammation anywhere in the body.
For this reason, sulforaphane’s benefits to the body know no bounds, and branch out into a wide range of specific sub-benefits that are each incredibly valued and unparalleled.
In fact, one of these may be helping with skin inflammation. Studies show that this Cruciferous/Brassica-based compound can actually help protect the skin from inflammation caused by UV rays and sun exposure.
SULFORAPHANE PROTECTS THE NERVES AND REGENERATES NEURONS
Perhaps the most exciting field in which sulforaphane reigns supreme as an antioxidant is in the realm of neuroprotection.
What this means: sulforaphane can protect the nerves, neurons, and the entire nervous system from oxidative and/or stress-related damage.
The ramifications of such effects, as seen in studies, are astounding. This spells protection from damage relating to many nervous-related diseases, plus it also shows potential for neuro-regeneration and therapy in this study.
SULFORAPHANE COULD HELP WITH NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS
Protection of the nerves and neurons from oxidative damage can mean many things. It can help with mood disorders, relieve pain, ease stress, and much more.
Yet studies are discovering that sulforaphane may have an even higher calling and potential for the nervous system.
More specifically: neurological disorders. Studies on sulforaphane and the conditions it may benefit range from Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia all the way to autism, spectrum, and other personality disorders.
Though it’s still far from ever being called a cure, it could one day be a therapy for symptoms of neurological conditions like autism and ADHD.
SULFORAPHANE COULD PROTECT THE BRAIN (EVEN FROM STROKE)
Beyond nerves and neuron aspects of the nervous system, sulforaphane could protect the brain.
One study even showed the chemical protecting damage from ruptures of the blood-brain barrier.
What this means: sulforaphane may be a powerful enough antioxidant to heal damages resulting from stroke, or even reduce the risk of strokes as well. In a pinch, it could provide support for damages resulting from concussions or other brain trauma.
Among its many uses and supporting research, science and evidence suggest this vegetable-based chemical may have the very best potential for the brain and nervous system above all else.
SULFORAPHANE CAN IMPROVE MEMORY AND FOCUS
Better nerves, better brain—antioxidant protection also means subtle advantages to wellness and quality of life, and it’s not just limited to support for major chronic illnesses or conditions.
Studies are also showing the vegetable-based healthy phytochemical could boost brain function, and even reduce the risk of subtler, more sub-clinical struggles with cognition, learning, and memory in adults and the young.
By protecting nerves and neurons, this makes sulforaphane a good nutrient for a whole host of nervous issues, major or no.
SULFORAPHANE COULD IMPROVE IMMUNITY AND AUTOIMMUNITY
Jumping away from neurological benefits, science shows sulforaphane has lots to offer in other areas—and the immune system is a big one.
As antioxidants are known to do, they take away inflammation-causing free radicals that stress out and burden the immune system.
But once removed, the immune system is free to function to its optimal capacity. As a result, taking sulforaphane could be a great support for enhancing immunity and even keeping colds and viruses at bay.
SULFORAPHANE CAN SUPPORT MITOCHONDRIA
The Cruciferous antioxidant also helps health at a deeper level—a much, much deeper level.
We’re talking about the health of cells, particularly in the cell’s mitochondria.
Research shows that, as an antioxidant, sulforaphane can help protect mitochondria. Mitochondria are mini-cells within cells that help store energy and cleanup cellular waste in the body and, effectively, carry out actual antioxidant tasks of scavenging free radicals.
Microscopic cellular cleanup like this is called “autophagy.” As it turns out, sulforaphane can support this process—which protects against degeneration, disease, and inflammation—by shielding mitochondria themselves, and even helping reduce the risk of mitochondrial diseases.
SULFORAPHANE MAY HELP WITH DIABETES
Sulforaphane may be beneficial to one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in America today: type 2 diabetes.
Technically, type 2 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder—and sulforaphane has been shown to help with autoimmune inflammation and conditions.
Beyond that, certain studies found that the phytochemical compound could help type 2 diabetes in other direct ways, such as increasing insulin sensitivity and improving metabolism.
There are also studies showing it helps repair heart damage from diabetes, as well as kidney damage caused by the condition. Far be it from a cure, perhaps one-day sulforaphane could be an approved therapy.
SULFORAPHANE COULD IMPROVE KIDNEY HEALTH
While research, on one hand, has lots to say about kidney damage from diabetes, research also has lots to say about sulforaphane being straight-up great for just the kidneys, too.
One study showed that sulforaphanes extracted from broccoli sprouts—one of the richest sources of sulforaphanes—put a halt to kidney damage.
It did this by reducing inflammation as an antioxidant, while also stopping cellular death in kidney tissue.
This research only focused specifically on a subject experiencing kidney issues due to chemotherapy. All the same, its influence on the kidneys is unmistakable, showing that sulforaphane could benefit kidney health.
SULFORAPHANE COULD HELP PEOPLE LOSE WEIGHT
People are always looking for a magic bullet to lose weight. Eating vegetables is highly recommend in any type of diet to help with weight loss or management—and of course, it has something to do with their phytochemicals and nutrients.
Sulforaphane is no exception. In a 2014 study, the antioxidant was observed stimulating anti-obesity effects in subjects.
It reduced the body’s tendency to build up fat stores, and instead switched the body’s metabolism towards burning it more efficiently. It’s no magic bullet or diet but could be a good part of a weight loss regimen all the same.
SULFORAPHANE MAY HELP TO PROTECT THE LIVER
Before concluding that sulforaphane couldn’t possibly have any more health benefits, think again.
Eating plenty of veggies rich in sulforaphanes—or taking supplements every day that are chock-full of them—could be great for the liver.
What’s more, a 2011 study showed the vegetable chemical protecting the liver from oxidative damage, even at the mitochondrial level. By scavenging both free radicals and reducing inflammatory stress on the liver, it helped boost overall liver health as a “hepatoprotector.”
For people who are passionate about liver detoxes, this means sulforaphanes are one of many great ways to support natural detoxification.
SULFORAPHANE COULD HELP BALANCE HORMONES
In the arena of reproductive health, too, sulforaphane brings its own great perks to the table. In one of its most interesting perks thus far, it could help balance hormones in both men and women.
And before women start to feel left out: another study showed that sulforaphane could in all probability help slash one’s risk of breast cancer a great deal as well.
SULFORAPHANE COULD REDUCE THE RISK OF GETTING CANCER
No doctor, researcher, or scientist has yet figured out how to defeat this deadliest of deadly diseases. But as research continues, it may very well be discovered that the best cancer aides and treatments will eventually be medicines made from powerful antioxidant-rich plants.
Sulforaphane, and all the plants that contain the antioxidant is one such candidate.
Not only may it have actual anti-tumor activity and the ability to literally fight and defeat cancer, in the interim it also appears to have some ability to protect the body from the effects of chemotherapy, according to one major review.
SULFORAPHANE IS JUST ONE OF MANY IN OUR HERBAL FORMULA
Find sulforaphane in one of its many well-known vegetable sources (kale, broccoli, or kohlrabi). Or, find it in potent, incredibly compound-rich extract form for easy daily supplement use in our newest botanical formulas, Neuro Regen.
Neuro Regen is designed and primed for everything nerve recovery and for neurological support as well. It includes sulforaphane extracted from broccoli seed, as well as many other research-supported neuro-boosting ingredients
Neuro Regen Also Contains:
- Epimedium (Horny Goat Weed) Extract (10% Icariins)
- Lion’s Mane Extract (30% Polysaccharides)
- Mucuna pruriens Extract (98% L-dopa)
- Black Pepper Fruit Extract (10% piperine to increase bioavailability)
Get Social – Like, Comment and Share!
Carlos Enrique Guerrero-Beltrán, Mariel Calderón-Oliver, José Pedraza-Chaverri, Yolanda Irasema Chirino (2012). Protective effect of sulforaphane against oxidative stress: Recent advances. Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology 64(5) 503-508. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0940299310001831
Sekhar Boddupalli, Jonathan R. Mein, Shantala Lakkanna, Don R. James (2012). Induction of phase 2 antioxidant enzymes by broccoli sulforaphane: perspectives in maintaining the antioxidant activity of vitamins A, C, and E. Frontiers in Genetics Vol. 3 DOI 10.3389. Retrieved from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fgene.2012.00007/full
Constance L. Saw, Mou-Tuan Huang, Yue Liu, Tin Oo Khor, Allan. H. Conney, Ah-Ng Kong (2010). Impact of Nrf2 on UVB-induced skin inflammation/photoprotection and photoprotective effect of sulforaphane. Molecular Carcinogenesis 50(6) 479-486. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/mc.20725
Keita Mizuno, Toshiaki Kume, Chie Muto, Yuki Takada-Takatori, Yasuhiko Izumi, Hachiro Sugimoto, Akinori Akaike (2011). Glutathione Biosynthesis via Activation of the Nuclear Factor E2-Related Factor 2 (Nrf2) – Antioxidant-Response Element (ARE) Pathway is Essential for Neuroprotective Effects of Sulforaphane and 6-(Methylsulfinyl) Hexyl Isothiocyanate. Journal of Pharmacological Sciences 115(3) 320-328. Retrieved from https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jphs/115/3/115_10257FP/_article/-char/ja/
Andrea L. Benedict, Andrea Mountney, Andres Hurtado, Kelley E. Bryan, Ronald L. Schnaar, Albena T. Dinkova-Kostoba, Paul Talalay (2012). Neuroprotective Effects of Sulforaphane after Contusive Spinal Cord Injury. Journal of Neurotrauma 29(16). Retrieved from https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/neu.2012.2474
Andrea Tarozzi, Cristina Angeloni, Marco Malaguti, Fabiana Morroni, Silvana Hrelia, Patrizia Hrelia (2013). Sulforaphane as a Potential Protective Phytochemical against Neurodegenerative Diseases. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity Vol. 2013 ID 415078. Retrieved from https://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2013/415078/
Fabiana Morroni, Andrea Tarozzi, Giulia Sita, Cecilia Bolondi, Juan Manuel Zolezzi Moraga, Giorgio Cantelli-Forti, Patriza Hrelia (2013). Neuroprotective effect of sulforaphane in 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned mouse model of Parkinsons’s disease. NeuroToxicology Vol. 36 pp. 63-71. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0161813X13000442
Kanwaljit Singh, Andrew W. Zimmerman (2016). Sulforaphane Treatment of Young Men with Autism Spectrum Disorder. CNS & Neurological Disorders 15(5) 597-601(5). Retrieved from https://www.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/ben/cnsnddt/2016/00000015/00000005/art00012
Alessio Alfieri, Salil Srivastava, Richard C.M. Siow, Diana Cash, Michel Modo, Michael R. Duchen, Paul A. Fraser, Steven C.R. Williams, Giovanni E. Mann (2013). Sulforaphane preconditioning of the Nrf2/HO-1 defense pathway protects the cerebral vasculature against blood-brain barrier disruption and neurological deficits in stroke. Free Radical Biology and Medicine Vol. 65 pp. 1012-1022. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0891584913005935
Yumi Shirai, Yuko Fujita, Ryota Hashimoto, Kazutaka Ohi, Hidenaga Yamamori, Yuka Yasuda, Tamaki Ishima, Hiroyuki Suganuma, Yusuke Ushida, Masatoshi Takeda, Kenji Hashimoto (2015). Dietary intake of Sulforaphane-Rich Broccoli Sprout Extracts during Juvenile and Adolescence Can Prevent Phencyclidine-Induced Cognitive Deficits at Adulthood. PLoS ONE 10(6) e0127244. Retrieved from http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0127244
Bin Li, Wei Cui, Jia Liu, Ru Li, Qian Liu, Xiao-Hua Xie, Xiao-Li Ge, Jing Zhang, Xiu-Juan Song, Ying Wang, Li Guo (2013). Sulforaphane ameliorates the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by antagonizing oxidative stress and Th17-related inflammation in mice. Experimental Neurology Vol. 250 pp. 239-249. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S001448861300304X
Tiffany Greco, Jonathan Shafer, Gary Fiskum (2011). Sulforaphane inhibits mitochondrial permeability transition and oxidative stress. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 51(12) 2164-2171. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0891584911005831
Carolina Guerini de Souza, José Augusto Sattler, Adriano Martimbanco de Assis, Anderson Rech, Marcos Luiz Santos Perry, Diogo Onofre Souza (2012). Metabolic Effects of Sulforaphane Oral Treatment in Streptozotocin-Diabetic Rats. Journal of Medicinal Food 15(9). Retrieved from https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jmf.2012.0016
Yang Bai, Wenpeng Cui, Ying Xin, Xiao Miao, Michelle T. Barati, Chi Zhang, Qiang Chen, Yi Tan, Taixing Cui, Yang Zheng, Lu Cai (2013). Prevention by sulforaphane of diabetic cardiomyopathy is associated with up-regulation of Nrf2 expression and transcription activation. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology Vol. 57 pp. 82-95. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022282813000114
Wenpeng Cui, Yang Bai, Xiao Miao, Ping Luo, Qiang Chen, Yi Tan, Madhavi J. Rane, Lining Miao, Lu Cai (2012). Prevention of Diabetic Nephropathy by Sulforaphane: Possible Role of Nrf2 Upregulation and Activation. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity Vol. 2012 ID 821936. Retrieved from https://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2012/821936/
Carlos Enrique Guerrero-Beltrán, Partha Mukhopadhyay, Béla Horváth, Mohanraj Rajesh, Edilia Tapia, Itzhel García-Torres, José Pedraza-Chaverri, Pál Pacher (2012). Sulforaphane, a natural constituent of broccoli, prevents cell death and inflammation in nephropathy. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 23(5) 494-500. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955286311000775
Kyeong-Mi Choi, Youn-Sun Lee, Wonkyun Kim, Seung Jung Kim, Kyong-Oh Shin, Ji-Yeon Yu, Mi Kyeong Lee, Yong-Moon Lee, Jin Tae Hong, Yeo-Pyo Kun, Hwan-Soo Yoo (2014). Sulforaphane attenuates obesity by inhibiting adipogenesis and activating the AMPK pathway in obese mice. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 25(2) 201-207. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955286313002325
Leobardo Gaona-Gaona, Eduardo Molina-Jijón, Edilia Tapia, Cecilia Zazueta, Rogelia Hernández-Pando, Mariel Calderón-Oliver, Guillermo Zarco-Márquez, Enrique Pinzón, José Pedraza-Chaverri (2011). Protective effect of sulforaphane pretreatment against cisplatin-induced liver and mitochondrial oxidant damage in rats. Toxicology 286(1-3) pp. 20-27. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0300483X11001648
Mari Sasaki, Shohei Shinozaki, Kentaro Shimokado (2016). Sulforaphane promotes murine hair growth by accelerating the degradation of dihydrotestosterone. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 472(1) pp 250-254. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006291X16302881
Sayaka Kenematsu, Katsuhiko Yoshizawa, Norihisa Uehara, Hisanori Miki, Tomo Sasaki, Maki Kuro, Yen-Chang Lai, Ayako Kimura, Takashi Yuri, Airo Tsubura (2011). Sulforaphane inhibits the growth of KPL-1 human breast cancer cells in vitro and suppresses the growth and metastasis of orthotopically transplanted KPL-1 cells in female athymic mice. Oncology Reports 26(3) 603-608. Retrieved from https://www.spandidos-publications.com/or/26/3/603
Monia Lenzi, Carmela Fimognari, Patrizia Hrelia (2013). Sulforaphane as a Promising Molecule for Fighting Cancer. Advances in Nutrition and Cancer Vol. 159 pp. 207-223. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-38007-5_12
We don’t know it or recognize it until it hits us—and sometimes we don’t even recognize or notice it then. The disease could affect any of us: our families, our friends, or maybe even ourselves. …
Ever heard of astragalus? It’s a delicate plant with many species that can be found all over the world. At first glance, it looks quite a bit like a pea plant—and that’s because it is …
The natural health world is full of supplements, superfoods, and botanicals shrouded with tons of health claims. One buzzword related to the above: adaptogen. What exactly are adaptogens? There are a lot of ideas about …
- Exclusive Offers
- Product Giveaways
- Latest Research
- New Product Launches